Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Borrelia recurrentis in the blood film

A 17-year-old refugee from Eritrea presented with sudden fever (to 41°C), myalgias, and headache. Three days before admission, he had arrived in Switzerland after a long journey through the Sudan and Libya and across the Mediterranean and Italy. Other than mild anemia, he had unremarkable blood values (hemoglobin, 122 g/L; white blood cells, 5.6 × 109/L; platelets, 187 × 109/L) and an increased C-reactive protein of 55 mg/L. No localizing infection was found by clinical examination, chest radiograph, or urine analysis. During a search for malaria, spirochetes were spotted in the blood film (Giemsa stained, original magnification ×100). Given the travel history and clinical symptoms, louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) was diagnosed, caused by Borrelia recurrentis. A treatment with doxycycline for 7 days was effective.

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Unexpected cause of high fever in the blood film

Source: Blood Journal

1 comment:

JVKohl said...

Congratulations to the person who spotted the spirochete on the slide.

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